When assessing and managing talent risk and preparing for knowledge transfer, we work to uncover data like who’s the expert, how many employees do we have that are capable of that work, how many employees do we have that are learning that work, and whether it’s at risk. If it’s at risk, is it a high priority? The Knowledge Silo Matrix (KSM), Step One in our 3-Step Process, gives leaders a place to represent the data so that they can show it to their peers, to their employees, to their bosses.
We at the Steve Trautman Company have long asserted that while traditional job shadowing has been a common practice for transferring skills from the knowledgeable employee to a new hire, there are inherent flaws with relying on this method to replicate your top talent:
A common misconception I often find myself debunking is that risks related to “the people part” of business are somehow less quantifiable and manageable than other types of business risks. As we have begun to further shape and prove that a business’s talent risks can be methodically assessed, prioritized, and managed, we still worry about common business language around this topic sounding too fluffy. In this post, I’ve made a clear, comprehensive list of the types of talent risks that we can pinpoint with today’s knowledge transfer tool set.
Every one of the risks noted below can be
Last week’s post to this blog introduced the topic of managing talent risk and busted three common misconceptions around that. Let’s take on another.
As business leaders, you manage many risks systematically and with great rigor. You manage risk of litigation with contracts and insurance, risk to operations with multiple suppliers and maintenance protocols, risk to health and safety by having protective gear and environmental sensors, risk to finance by maintaining cash reserves and lines of credit, etc. Yet with all that you do in risk management elsewhere in your business, you likely do not have a rigorous way to assess and methodically mitigate talent risk in your workforce.
If you follow this blog, you’re going to see more content on the topic of managing talent risk as my team and I prep for my next book. So far, I’ve found that Deloitte has been the most vocal on the subject. The authors of their white paper on the topic make the case for a Risk Intelligent Enterprise ™. We’re in firm agreement that the intersection of Talent Management and Risk Management is long overdue. Deloitte would like to see an open dialog between the two groups that encompasses succession planning, rewards, ethics, compliance, health and safety, business and talent continuity, and culture. The gap I find in their thinking is
Your knowledge transfer strategy should include a clear cost-benefit analysis for the change you want to make from your organization’s knowledge transfer status quo to a program that meets your defined expectations. The first step is to consider the costs of a change. Be sure to include the time your experts will spend transferring knowledge to their peers. This can be as little as a few hours per week but we’ve found that ignoring this reality causes problems when it is time to execute the strategy. There is also going to be some overhead for setting up the system, potentially using internal or external help. Then think about benefits. The cleanest way I have found to get at the benefits is to assess opportunities and threats to your business and then derive potential returns from there. The main goal of knowledge transfer is to manage talent and knowledge risks, including risks of failing in your current business or failing to take full advantage of growth opportunities. Your cost/benefit analysis should be informed by a thorough understanding of the impacts those risks could have on your business.
Topics: Outsourcing, Workforce Risk Management, Knowledge Transfer Strategy, Innovation in a Workforce, Change Management, Generational Gaps/Differences, Skilled Worker Shortage, Onboarding, Aging Workers